COVID-19 Faces of Migration – Story of Maro (age 64), returnee from Greece

In various parts of the world IOM is assisting thousands of migrants who have been affected by movement restrictions and are unable to work or return home.

Maro is an accountant by profession, but she has never worked as one. She raised two daughters. Both of them currently work abroad, one in Greece and another in Italy.

In 2010 Maro left Georgia and went to spend some time with her daughter in Greece. Though she was planning to just go for a visit, spend time with her grandkids and maybe explore employment opportunities, she ended up spending 10 years working there. It was hard for Maro to be away from her husband for so long, but she adapted. She learned Greek and started working as a caretaker to an elderly lady. Maro worked with 3 families over these 10 years and built close relationship with all of them. As Maro’s second daughter, who was staying home with her dad, Maro’s husband Givi in Georgia, also decided to go abroad to Italy for work, Maro decided to return home with IOM’s support and look after her husband and grandchildren, who would be left behind, after their mother’s departure to Italy. With IOM’s return assistance Maro started cattle breeding business and produces matsoni (type of yoghurt) for her family. Maro and Givi look after their cows and several greenhouses where they grow peppers. Fortunately, the family stayed strong during the COVID-19 since the pandemic did not affect their work, as they work independently and sell their products locally. They are now planning to expand their greenhouse business to also grow roses.

Nearly all countries worldwide have enforced travel/movement restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19. Measures such as border closures, curfews and internal lockdowns have had wide-ranging implications for both local population and third country migrants, leaving many unable to return to their countries/areas of origin or to reach their intended destinations.  Some had to endure many challenges to return home in the time of pandemic. Many migrant workers in different parts of the world are unable to return home, stuck in their countries/areas of work without employment.

In various parts of the world IOM is assisting thousands of migrants who have been affected by movement restrictions and are unable to work or return home.

Written by
Author
Ana Kakushadze
National Programme Officer/Media & Communications
IOM
Ana Kakushadze-1
UN entities involved in this initiative
IOM
International Organization for Migration